NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship

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NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship
NCAA logo.svg
Founded 1969
Number of teams 4
Current champions UCLA (11)
Most successful club(s) California (14)
Website NCAA.com

The NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship is an annual tournament to determine the national champion of NCAA men's collegiate water polo. It has been held every year since 1969. With a limited number of NCAA water polo programs at the national level, all men's teams, whether from Division I, Division II, or Division III, are eligible to compete each year. The tournament was expanded from a four-team bracket in 2013 by adding two play-in games that are contested by the bottom four seeds, effectively creating a six-team bracket with a first-round bye for the top two teams.

While the championship often includes teams from around the country, most programs are located within the state of California, and no school from outside California has ever surpassed third place or participated in the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship game.

The four California based PAC-12 schools have been the most successful. California is the most successful program with 14 titles, followed by UCLA with 11 titles, Stanford (10 titles), and USC (9 titles).[1] One of these four schools has won the championship every year since 1998.

Championships summary[edit]

Year Team Champion Score Team Runner-Up Location Venue
1969 UCLA 5–2 California Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1970 UC Irvine 7–6 (3OT) UCLA Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1971 UCLA (2) 5–3 San Jose State Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1972 UCLA (3) 10–5 UC Irvine Albuquerque, NM Armond H. Seidler Natatorium
1973 California 8–4 UC Irvine Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1974 California (2) 7–6 UC Irvine Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1975 California (3) 9–8 UC Irvine Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1976 Stanford 13–12 UCLA Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1977 California (4) 8–6 UC Irvine Providence, RI Smith Swim Center[2]
1978 Stanford (2) 7–6 (3OT) California Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1979 UC Santa Barbara 11–3 UCLA Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1980 Stanford (3) 8–6 California Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1981 Stanford (4) 17–6 Long Beach State Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1982 UC Irvine (2) 7–4 Stanford Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1983 California (5) 10–7 USC Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1984 California (6) 9–8 Stanford Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1985 Stanford (5) 12–11 (2OT) UC Irvine Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1986 Stanford (6) 9–6 California Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1987 California (7) 9–8 (OT) USC Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1988 California (8) 14–11 UCLA Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1989 UC Irvine (3) 9–8 California Indianapolis, IN Indiana University Natatorium
1990 California (9) 8–7 Stanford Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1991 California (10) 7–6 UCLA Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1992 California (11) 12–11 (3OT) Stanford Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1993 Stanford (7) 11–9 USC Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1994 Stanford (8) 14–10 USC Long Beach, CA Belmont Plaza Pool
1995 UCLA (4) 10–8 California Stanford, CA Avery Aquatic Center
1996 UCLA (5) 8–7 USC La Jolla, San Diego, CA Canyonview Pool
1997 Pepperdine 8–7 (2OT) USC Fort Lauderdale, FL International Swimming Hall of Fame
Aquatics Complex
1998 USC 9–8 (2OT) Stanford Newport Beach, CA Marian Bergeson Aquatic Center
1999 UCLA (6) 6–5 Stanford La Jolla, San Diego, CA Canyonview Pool
2000 UCLA (7) 11–2 UC San Diego Malibu, CA Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool
2001 Stanford (9) 8–5 UCLA Stanford, CA Avery Aquatic Center
2002 Stanford (10) 7–6 California Los Angeles Burns Aquatics Center
2003 USC (2) 9–7 (2OT) Stanford Stanford, CA Avery Aquatic Center
2004 UCLA (8) 10–9 (OT) Stanford Stanford, CA Avery Aquatic Center
2005 USC (3) 3–2 Stanford Lewisburg, PA Kinney Natatorium
2006 California (12) 7–6 USC Los Angeles Burns Aquatics Center
2007 California (13) 8–6 USC Stanford, CA Avery Aquatic Center
2008 USC (4) 7–5 Stanford Stanford, CA Avery Aquatic Center
2009 USC (5) 7–6 UCLA Princeton, NJ DeNunzio Pool
2010 USC (6) 12–10 (OT) California Berkeley, CA Spieker Aquatics Complex
2011 USC (7) 7–4 UCLA Berkeley, CA Spieker Aquatics Complex
2012 USC (8) 11–10 UCLA Los Angeles McDonald's Swim Stadium
2013 USC (9) 12-11 (2OT) Pacific Stanford, CA Avery Aquatic Center
2014 UCLA (9) 9-8 USC La Jolla, San Diego, CA Canyonview Aquatic Center
2015 UCLA (10) 10-7 USC Los Angeles Spieker Aquatics Center
2016 California (14) 11-8 (2OT) USC Berkeley, CA Spieker Aquatics Complex
2017 UCLA (11) 7-5 USC Los Angeles Uytengsu Aquatics Center
2018 Stanford, CA Avery Aquatic Center
2019 Stockton, CA Chris Kjeldsen Pool Complex
2020 Stanford, CA Avery Aquatic Center
2021 Los Angeles Spieker Aquatics Center

Team titles[edit]

NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship is located in the US
California
California
឴឴឵UCLA
឴឴឵UCLA
Stanford
Stanford
USC

USC
UCIrvine
UC
Irvine
Pepperdine
Pepperdine
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara
Schools with national championships
Gold pog.svg – 14 championships, Blue pog.svg – 11 championships, Red pog.svg – 10 championships, Black pog.svg – 9 championships, Pink pog.svg – 3 championships, White pog.svg – 1 championship
Team # Winning years Runner-up years
California 14 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2006, 2007, 2016 1969, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1989, 1995, 2002, 2010
UCLA 11 1969, 1971, 1972, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2017 1970, 1976, 1979, 1988, 1991, 2001, 2009, 2011, 2012
Stanford 10 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2002 1982, 1984, 1990, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008
USC 9 1998, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 1983, 1987, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
UC Irvine 3 1970, 1982, 1989 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1985
Pepperdine 1 1997
UC Santa Barbara 1 1979
Long Beach State 0 1981
Pacific 0 2013
San Jose State 0 1971
UC San Diego 0 2000

Recent championships[edit]

2009 Championship[edit]

Semifinals scores (Princeton University, December 5, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm (ET)):

National Championship (Princeton University, December 6, 2:00 pm (ET)):

 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
December 5, 3:00 pm
 
 
#1 USC13
 
December 6, 2:00 pm
 
#4 Princeton3
 
#1 USC 7
 
December 5, 5:00 pm
 
#2 UCLA 6
 
#2 UCLA 9
 
 
#3 Loyola Marymount 8 (2 OT)
 
Third place
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2009 NCAA All-Tournament Teams:

  • First-Team – Shea Buckner, USC; Scott Davidson, UCLA; Ben Hohl, UCLA; Tibor Forai, LMU; J. W. Krumpholz, USC; Andy Stevens, LMU; Jordan Thompson, USC (MVP)
  • Second-Team – Edgaras Asajavicius, LMU; Matt Hale, Princeton; Cullen Hennessy, UCLA; Chay Lapin, UCLA; Matt Sagehorn, USC; Josh Samuels, UCLA; Eric Vreeland, Princeton; Griffin White, UCLA; Mark Zalewski, Princeton

2010 Championship[edit]

Semifinals (December 4, 2010, Spieker Aquatics Complex, University of California, Berkeley, California)

Championship (December 5, 2010, Spieker Aquatics Complex, University of California, Berkeley, California)

  • USC def. California 12-10 (OT)
 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
December 4
 
 
USC10
 
December 5
 
St. Francis (NY)7
 
USC12
 
December 4
 
Cal 10 (OT)
 
Cal 7
 
 
Loyola Marymount 6
 
Third place
 
 
December 5
 
 
Loyola Marymount
 
 
St. Francis (NY)

2010 NCAA All-Tournament Teams:

  • First-Team – Peter Kurzeka, USC (MVP); Ivan Rackov, CAL; Zachary White, CAL; Tibor Forai, LMU; Nikola Vavic, USC; Andy Stevens, LMU; Brian Dudley, CAL
  • Second-Team – Boris Plavsic, SFC; Ikaika Aki, LMU; Marko Gencic, SFC; Jeremy Davie, USC; Joel Dennerley, USC; Matt Burton, USC; Cory Nasoff, CAL

2011 Championship[edit]

Conferences receiving automatic qualification included the Collegiate Water Polo Association, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and the Western Water Polo Association. The remaining team was selected at-large without geographical restrictions.

Semifinals (December 3, 2011, Spieker Aquatics Complex, University of California, Berkeley, California)

  • USC (22-3) def. Princeton (21-9) 17–4
  • UCLA (23-4) def. UC-San Diego (17-9) 10–1

Championship (December 4, 2010, Spieker Aquatics Complex, University of California, Berkeley, California)

  • Third-place game, Princeton def. UC San Diego 9-7
  • Championship game, USC def. UCLA 7–4
 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
December 3
 
 
USC17
 
December 4
 
Princeton 4
 
USC 7
 
December 3
 
UCLA 4
 
UCLA 10
 
 
UC-San Diego 1
 
Third place
 
 
December 4
 
 
Princeton 9
 
 
UC-San Diego 7

2011 NCAA All-Tournament Teams:

  • First-Team – Joel Dennerley (MOP), Peter Kurzeka and Nikola Vavic, USC; Josh Samuels and Cullen Hennessy, UCLA; Thomas Nelson, Princeton and Graham Saber, UC San Diego.
  • Second-team – Matt Rapacz, Griffin White and Cristiano Mirarchi, UCLA; Jeremy Davie and Mace Rapsey, USC; Drew Hoffenberg, Princeton, and Brian Donohoe, UC San Diego.

2012 Championship[edit]

The NCAA men's water polo championship was held December 1 and 2, 2012 at Southern California's McDonald’s Swim Stadium. Conferences receiving automatic qualification included the Collegiate Water Polo Association, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and the Western Water Polo Association. The remaining team was selected at-large without geographical restrictions. All four championship games will be streamed live on www.NCAA.com.

Semifinals - December 1, 2012

  • Southern California (27-0) vs. Air Force (19-10) 4 p.m. ET
  • UCLA (27-4) vs. St. Francis (N.Y.) (16-8) 6:12 p.m. ET

Finals - December 2, 2012

  • Third-place game played at 4 p.m. ET
  • The championship game played at 6:12 p.m. ET.
 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
December 1, 4:00 PM
 
 
#1 Southern California 18
 
December 2, 6:12 PM
 
#4 Air Force 7
 
Southern California 11
 
December 1, 6:12 PM
 
UCLA 10
 
#2 UCLA 17
 
 
#3 St. Francis Brooklyn 3
 
Third place
 
 
December 2, 4:00 PM
 
 
St. Francis Brooklyn 14
 
 
Air Force 8

2013 Championship[edit]

The NCAA men's water polo championship was held December 7 and 8, 2013 at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. This season marked the introduction of an expanded format. Six teams were seeded into the tournament, with the bottom four participating in Play-in games to fill the four team bracket. Four conferences received automatic qualification: the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA), the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), and the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA). The remaining two teams were selected at-large without geographical restrictions. The tournament was seeded by the Men’s Water Polo Committee on December 1. Conference representatives were Southern Cal (MPSF), Whittier College (SCIAC), UC San Diego (WWPA), and St. Francis College Brooklyn (CWPA).

Play-in – December 5, 2013

  • Game 1: #5 St. Francis College Brooklyn (22-10) def. #4 UC San Diego (14-13) 6-5
  • Game 2: #3 Stanford (21-5) def. #6 Whittier College (19-12) 20-3

Semifinals – December 7, 2013

  • 1 p.m. – Seed No.1 Southern Cal (26-4) def. #5 St. Francis College Brooklyn (23-10) 10–3
  • 2:45 p.m. – Seed No. 2 Pacific (22-4) def. #3 Stanford (22-5) 11–10

Finals – December 8, 2013

  • Third-place game played at 1 p.m.
  • The championship game played at 3 p.m.
 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
December 7, 1:00 PM
 
 
#1 Southern California 10
 
December 8, 3:00 PM
 
#4 St. Francis Brooklyn3
 
Southern California 12
 
December 7, 2:45 PM
 
Pacific 11(2 OT)
 
#2 Pacific 11
 
 
#3 Stanford 10
 
Third place
 
 
December 8, 1:00 PM
 
 
St. Francis Brooklyn 2
 
 
Stanford 17

2014 Championship[edit]

The NCAA men's water polo championship was held December 6 and 7, 2014 at UC San Diego's Canyonview Aquatic Center, La Jolla, CA. The tournament continued with the new format by adding two more teams to play in the four-team play-in games. Conferences received automatic qualification were the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA), the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), and the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA). The remaining teams were selected at-large without geographical restrictions. They were selected by the Men’s Water Polo Committee on November 23, 2014.

Play-in – November 29, 2014

  • Game 1: #4 UC San Diego (15-9) def. #5 Brown University (26-6) 12–7
  • Game 2: #3 USC (22-6) def. #6 Whittier (23-12) 19-4

Semifinals – December 6, 2014

  • Game 3, 1:00 PM PT: #1 seed UCLA (27-3) def. #4 seed UC San Diego (16-9) 15–6
  • Game 4, 3:12 PM PT: #3 seed USC (23-6) def. #2 seed Stanford (25-3) 12–11 in triple OT

Championship Dec. 7, 2014

  • Third Place Game, 1:00 p.m. PT: #2 seed Stanford def. #4 seed UC San Diego 20–11
  • National Championship Game, 3:12 p.m. PT: #1 seed UCLA def. #3 seed USC 9–8

2015 Championship[edit]

The NCAA men's water polo championship was held December 5 and 6, 2015 at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center, Los Angeles. The tournament continued with the new format by adding two more teams to play in the four-team play-in games. Conferences received automatic qualification were the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA), the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), and the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA). The remaining teams were selected at-large without geographical restrictions. They were selected by the Men’s Water Polo Committee on November 22, 2015.[3]

Play-in – December 2, 2015

  • Game 1: #5 UCSD (14–13) def. #4 Princeton (22–4) 12–7
  • Game 2: #3 USC (20–6) def. #6 Claremont McKenna-Harvey Mudd-Scripps Colleges (21–7) 20–5

Semifinals – December 5, 2015

  • Game 3, 1:00 PM PT: #1 seed UCLA (28–0) def. #5 UCSD (15–13) 17–4
  • Game 4, 3:12 PM PT: #3 USC (21–6) def. #2 seed California (23–6) 9–6

Championship Dec. 6, 2015

  • Third Place Game, 1:00 p.m. PT: Cal def. UCSD 20–9
  • National Championship Game, 3:12 p.m. PT: UCLA def. USC 10–7[4]

2016 Championship[edit]

California defeated USC 11-8 (2OT) for the national championship.

2017 Championship[edit]

The NCAA men's water polo championship will be held December 2 and 3, 2017 at USC, Los Angeles. The tournament continues with the new format with eight teams playing for the championship. Conferences received automatic qualification are the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA), Golden Coast Conference (GCC), the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), and the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA). The remaining two teams were selected at-large without geographical restrictions.

Opening round – November 25, 2017

  • Pacific defeated Pomona-Pitzer 16–2
  • Harvard defeated George Washington 15–13

First round – November 30, 2017

  • Pacific defeated UC Davis 13–12
  • USC defeated Harvard 16–4

Semifinals – December 2, 2017

  • UCLA defeated Pacific 11–9
  • USC defeated California 12–11

Championship – December 3, 2017

  • UCLA defeated USC 7–5

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]